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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

THE " PANGOLIN GIGANTESQUE "                    211

The history of the discovery of the members of this order
is very instructive as illustrating the dangers of laying too much
classificatory importance upon detached fragments of animals. So
long ago as 1825 terminal phalanges of a new creature were found
in the Miocene of Eppelsheim, and sent to Cuvier. Cuvier named
them " Pangolin gigantesque/1 deeming them/on account of their
general form and cleft terminations, to pertain to the Edentata.
In the same bed some seven years later were found certain teeth
clearly of an Ungulate character, to which the generic name of
Ohalicotherium was applied. It -was subsequently discovered
that the teeth and the claws belonged to the same animal, and.,
later, further remains turned up which disclosed a creature
having the anomalous composition of an Ungulate with decisively
Ungulate teeth, but with the feet to a large extent like those of
an unguiculate animal. The same confusion of characters occurs
also, it will be remembered, in the distinctly Artiodactyle
A-griochoems (see p. 331). Indeed the feet of the latter when
first discovered were erroneously, as it now appears, referred to
the present order of Ungulates under the name of Artionyx.
It is probable that the genus Morogus. of ^orth America is a
member of this group, and that it is probably congeneric with a
somewhat different type of Ancylopod known as Macrotheri^Tii.
It is also clear that .Anisodon, ScJii^otJieriufm^f and Ancylotherium,
if not congeneric with either of the two recognised genera, are
at least very close to them.
Chalicotherium has a skull which recalls that of some of the
earlier Ungulates; it has, however, no incisors at all, and no
canines in the upper jaw; this feature has led to the belief that
the animal is related to the Edentata, and that it is in fact a link
between them and the Ungulata. The molars, like those of the
Perissodaetyla, are of the buno-selenodont type. It also agrees
with that group (to which it has been approximated by several
writers) in the tridactyl manus and pes, and in the characters
of the tarsus. But although tridactyl, the axis jof the limb
passes through the fourth digit, Ohcdieotheri^rm is not mes-
axonie, as are the Perissodaetyles. Moreover, it has no third